Bouncing (Souls) on the Beach

The recent Bamboozle Festival was not just great for New Jersey music fans, it also provided a high-profile opportunity for a bunch of Jersey bands like the Bouncing Souls to play to their home state crowd.

Bon Jovi may have gotten the headlines, but the Bouncing Souls also captured a large crowd for its set—which took place on a separate stage just before Bon Jovi’s festival-closing performance. Bamboozle ran for three days, May 18-21, on the beach in Asbury Park and attracted fans from across the country.

The members of the Bouncing Souls happen to live in Asbury Park, so the 10th anniversary Bamboozle was an ideal place to play. “We love a festival,” lead singer Greg Attonito told me, “especially when it’s close to home.”

I had the chance to interview Attonito at Bamboozle and, as a longtime fan, loved hearing about the group’s early days growing up in Basking Ridge and then becoming an integral part of the burgeoning New Brunswick music scene in the early 1990s.

“We moved to New Brunswick because we thought there was a music scene and punk scene there,” Attonito said. In reality, “there wasn’t much going on.” The band established itself playing basement shows and local venues, including some that no longer exist, like the Court Tavern in New Brunswick.

For the past two decades, along with playing Jersey gigs and constantly producing music, the band has been touring and promoting its music nationally and internationally, spending last summer in Europe. The act frequently is billed at the major music festivals, including the Warped Tour.

Right now, the band is gearing up for the June 12 release of its ninth studio album, Comet. Next up is a national summer tour promoting the new release. In December, Bouncing Souls will be back in Asbury Park for its sixth-annual Home for the Holidays, a four-day music event benefitting local charities. It will take place at the band’s favorite Jersey venue—the Stone Pony, of course.

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